Editorial: Listening to the #metoo movement

By now you’ve probably heard all about the #metoo movement, sparked by the outing of American film producer Harvey Weinstein’s sexual harassment of women, over decades in the industry. Since then, numerous allegations have been made against others, some who had claimed to be supporters of the movement. Some whose work I have really loved in the past.

It’s fairly obvious that the entertainment industry has a problem with misogyny; it’s in so many of the shows and movies we watch, but many of us have  learned to just accept that’s the way it is. We’ve all seen the jokes and comments about female actresses not getting anywhere in their career unless they perform sexual acts with the men above them.

As workplaces have progressed in the way women are treated (though there is still a way to go in many) it seems Hollywood has managed to retain its  misogyny all in the name of entertainment. In some ways, I think some of these men have been given so much freedom and power that they were bound to abuse it. Obviously, that doesn’t make it right. Continue Reading


So much has been going on in Australian politics in the lead-up to printing this edition of Revive. In a landslide victory, Australia has voted yes in the marriage equality postal survey, and crazy things are happening around our Federal MPs concerning dual citizenship.

But a horror situation is also unfolding on Manus Island.

I’ve struggled to keep up with news on this situation, I think because I feel utterly helpless. But as Revive goes to print, around 600 men have been abandoned by the Australian Government at the Manus Island Detention Centre. They fear for their safety if they leave. Their food, power and water has been cut and I can’t even imagine the mental anguish they must be going through.Continue Reading

Editorial: award celebrations

It’s been a big month for us here at Revive.

In late August, I was lucky enough to travel to Auckland, New Zealand, for the Australasian Religious Press Association (ARPA) conference and awards. Not only did I get to catch-up with editors and colleagues from Uniting Church publications from around the country, but I also had the opportunity to spend time with editors of Christian publications from various denominations – including our counterparts from WA religious press.

This year, Revive won two awards.We won a bronze award in the Best News Category for the article ‘Medicinal Cannabis: new legislation a helpful step,’ written by Elaenor Nield. This article celebrated the legalisation of cultivating medicinal cannabis in Australia, which the Uniting Church WA had campaigned for.

Revive also won a gold award in the Best Feature Single Author  category for an article I wrote titled ‘Embracing weirdness as a disciple of the Way.’ This article explored the role spirituality can play in living with mental illness. One of its strengths, I believe,  was the honesty in which Paul Montague, Uniting Church WA ministry candidate, shared his story with readers.

We’re thrilled to have won these awards among such well-respected colleagues and peers.

Revive wasn’t the only Uniting Church publication to win awards this year. Journey, Uniting Church QLD; Insights, Uniting Church NSW/ACT; and Crosslight, Uniting Church Vic/Tas all also won deserving awards.

In September, members of the Uniting Church WA also met for the 41st Annual Meeting of the Synod. A lot of news came out of the meeting, and you can also check out our Facebook or Twitter feeds for more news from the event.

Heather Dowling

Editorial: towards tolerance

A few weeks ago I did something I’d never done before; I visited a Jewish Synagogue.

Our profile story this edition is Rabbi Dovid Freilich, who is leaving the Rabbinate after 45 years of service. During our interview, he specifically asked me not to use the term ‘retire’ as he has plenty of life left in him to get involved in a host of other interests.

Our Moderator, Rev Steve Francis, actually alerted me to the story, as he had heard the Rabbi speak the night before on ‘tolerance versus respect’ and thought it was a story worth sharing. I have to agree.Continue Reading

Editorial: 40 years of the Uniting Church

I often hear people in the Uniting Church talking about the denomination they were part of before the Methodist, Presbyterian and Congregational churches combined to form the one church. I don’t think that’s necessarily a bad thing, we all draw on our pasts as the formation of who we are.

I, however, wasn’t around yet when the Uniting Church was formed, so I don’t remember the journey to Union, or the celebration. I was raised in this church though, born five years after Union; I guess you could call me a Uniting Church baby.

As a small child, I spent Easter camps at Daybreak Camp Farm building mud creations and running through gullies. I remember walking across fields and over rocks to a morning tea of hot cross  buns. I attended KUCA Camps (now KCO) and waited eagerly each year for them to come around, much like my son does now. A huge highlight of KUCA for me, and I’m sure others, was the  KUCA ‘radio station’ where we could ‘shout out’ to our friends and congregations.Continue Reading

Editorial: Getting crafty

It’s no secret among people who know me personally that I love craft – specifically knitting.

This year, knitting has been put in the spotlight with the rise of the Pussyhat global campaign and I couldn’t be more excited to see my fellow crafters standing together for an important cause.

I’ve loved writing the feature article on ‘craftivism’ for this edition, and I’m hoping there are lots of you out there who’ll connect with it too. Click here to read it.

I learnt to knit from my mum while I was in primary school. We were on a family driving holiday and my brothers and I would alternate as to who would sit in the front next to my mum and stepdad as we drove along. My mum was knitting a jumper for me throughout the trip, and I wanted to learn. So my stepdad made me some knitting needles out of wire and when it was my turn in the front my mum would teach me the ropes.

I managed to make a top for a doll on that trip, so I must’ve picked it up pretty fast. In the years following, my nanna also taught me to crochet, and both skills have played a huge part in my life. Continue Reading

Editorial: Uniting Church on a mission

As Christmas approaches we often start thinking about how we can make it a great time of year for our families, friends and loved ones. It’s also a great time of year to remember what we can offer the world to help make it just that little bit better.

This edition, we have articles on various missional Christmas appeals that you can get involved with to show the people in your own lives, and those locally and around the world, that you care about them.

Other missional stories of the Uniting Church WA in this edition include GSI’s STEP program, and Uniting Adult Mission Fellowship’s stamp collecting team, which has raised a huge $8 000 in 18 months for Frontier Services Patrol Ministry in WA. An article on a recent gathering at Mogumber, a previous Indigenous mission site, shows the hope and healing that can come when stories are shared and respected.Continue Reading

Editorial: De-stigmatising mental health

National Mental Health Week runs from 8 – 15 October this year.

While not everyone living with a mental illness thinks about taking their own life, those who do live with mental illness are more vulnerable to dying by suicide.

The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) reports that over 13% of Australians have had serious thoughts about ending their own lives at some point.

In 2014, the latest data available, 2 864 people died by suicide. Males make up 75% of these figures, while females make up 25%.

In our feature article this edition, Paul Montague, candidate for the ministry of the Word, shares some of his journey with Type 1 Bipolar Disorder and talks openly about suicide being a serious concern for people  living with the illness.

On World Suicide Prevention Day, in September, Suicide Prevention Australia released new research. Continue Reading

Editorial: Creating genuine welcome

If you’ve been reading Revive for a while, it’s possible you’ve read in the past that I don’t attend church very often. While I’ve grown up in the Uniting Church WA, I’m not currently a member of any congregation.

This usually means that when I do attend worship, I am either welcomed as a new face – or not.

Sometimes I have my kids in tow, although usually these days it’s just the younger one.

Sometimes I’m there for work, so I get a completely different welcome to when I’ve turned up for worship.

When I’ve turned up for worship, not for work purposes, the welcome I receive is usually quite different from place to place. It can range from being awkwardly ignored, to overly intense. Both are a little bit terrifying.

I think the churches where I’ve felt most comfortable where people have respected those awkward feelings; giving me space to find my feet, while also intentionally inviting me into conversation.Continue Reading

A daunting challenge

In April, I was privileged to attend the UnitingWomen conference in Adelaide. It was an amazing gathering of 400 women who are engaged and inspired to live out their faith with love, towards   healing, justice and a better world. We heard from speakers who have overcome child abuse, domestic violence and female genital mutilation, as well as women in leadership creating gender  equality in the Pacific. Mother and daughter, Denise and Candace Champion, shared their success stories of mentorship in the church and community, and a range of workshops encouraged us to engage in our own interests and pursuits. Plus, we heard from amazing women leaders amongst the Uniting Church network including Penny Wong, Rev Elenie Poulos and Julie McCrossin.

In one of my elective workshops, I learnt about values-based living, as opposed to goal-based living, and was able to reflect on my own journey and where I want it to take me.

In another workshop, I spent an afternoon sitting on the grass in the sun basket weaving with women from Mapuru, in Arnhem Land. After an intense couple of days it was a much needed break  for some crafty timeout with new faces.Continue Reading